Cuffed has been sued.
One of the many people to see his arrest mug shot appear in the new monthly publication filed a lawsuit Friday in Lancaster County District Court against Cuffed Paper and its registered agent, Dustin Hitchler.
Zachary Krull, 19, claims in the lawsuit that he was caused "humiliation and embarrassment" when his mug shot from a Jan. 11, 2010, failure to appear arrest ran in the "Lost My Comb" section of the paper's February edition.
Krull had been arrested for failing to appear in court on Dec. 24, 2009, to answer to a suspended driver's license and two traffic violations.
He paid $135 in fines, according to court documents. And he was photographed and jailed in the process.
Then, according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Korey Reiman, Hitchler published Krull's picture, and hundreds of others, to "make fun of these people."
Three issues of Cuffed have been printed in Lincoln. In the first, photographs of convicted sex offenders were displayed across the tabloid-size publication. The second issue contained people wanted on local arrest warrants. The third, dated Feb. 14, included arrest mug shots in sections categorized by alleged crimes ("Sticky Fingers"), how they posed ("Say Cheese!") and so on.
The lawsuit cites a Feb. 21 Journal Star article, in which a person associated with Cuffed answered an e-mail question to say the publication was "a business endeavor and for entertainment purposes only."
Reiman alleges in the lawsuit that Cuffed is violating Nebraska Statute 20-202, which pertains to invasions of privacy "for advertising or commercial purposes."
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The lawsuit acknowledges that the photographs are public records. It states that the statute "forbids this type of publication of (Krull's) name and picture and that the legislature has created a right to privacy to give any natural person a legal remedy in the event of violation of the right."
Krull is seeking a temporary injunction that, if granted, would stop the paper from publishing, as well as financial compensation.
"There are people who are mentally ill in here," Reiman told the Journal Star last week, speaking generally about those whose photographs and names were published. "People who are homeless, and we're making fun of their hair? This person (the publisher) doesn't even have enough courage to put his name out there."
Reiman acknowledged in an e-mail that serving papers to the publisher would be an issue.
A public records search by the Journal Star showed that Hitchler incorporated Cuffed LLC in November. The accompanying address belonged to a storage shed.
The only contact information listed in Cuffed's three issues is an e-mail address.
A Journal Star e-mail sent to that address Friday afternoon seeking comment about the lawsuit was not returned Friday evening.
Reach Cory Matteson at 473-7438 or email@example.com.